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Mears Group to set up JV and speed up planning applications

A Mears Group subsidiary has been appointed to run a government planning portal aimed at speeding up the processing of planning applications.

TerraQuest will take over the Department for Communities and Local Government’s national planning portal, forming a new joint venture company with the government to update the current system.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said the partnership “would increase investment in the portal service and ensure it continues to develop a high-quality service for years to come” and would “secure its long-term future”.

More than 85 per cent of planning applications are currently submitted through the web-based portal, which is linked to all English and Welsh local authorities.

TerraQuest’s redevelopment of the portal will enable wider access, increase the efficiency by which applications are submitted and, ultimately speed up planning approvals.

It is hoped that the deal will reduce the cost of planning and help developments get off the ground more quickly.

TerraQuest managing director Geoff Keal said: “We are thrilled to have been identified as DCLG’s preferred joint venture partner in relation to the planning portal, and are very excited about taking the portal to the next level.

“It is extremely important that each of the stakeholders remain engaged with the future portal to demonstrate their commitment to the continuation of the portal and its customers, and that it remains the central location everyone visits for all planning needs”.

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